An implicit BEM formulation to model strong discontinuities in solids

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A boundary element method (BEM) formulation to predict the behavior of solids exhibiting displacement (strong) discontinuity is presented. In this formulation, the effects of the displacement jump of a discontinuity interface embedded in an internal cell are reproduced by an equivalent strain field over the cell. To compute the stresses, this equivalent strain field is assumed as the inelastic part of the total strain. As a consequence, the non-linear BEM integral equations that result from the proposed approach are similar to those of the implicit BEM based on initial strains. Since discontinuity interfaces can be introduced inside the cell independently on the cell boundaries, the proposed BEM formulation, combined with a tracking scheme to trace the discontinuity path during the analysis, allows for arbitrary discontinuity propagation using a fixed mesh. A simple technique to track the crack path is outlined. This technique is based on the construction of a polygonal line formed by segments inside the cells, in which the assumed failure criterion is reached. Two experimental concrete fracture tests were analyzed to assess the performance of the proposed formulation.



boundary elements, fracture mechanics, cohesive models, strong discontinuity

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Computational Mechanics. New York: Springer, v. 40, n. 6, p. 901-909, 2007.